Cartoons are often reserved for the funny pages or maybe the New Yorker, so if you saw some of Michelle LeFade's work for the first time, you could be forgiven for feeling like they don't belong in either. The stories they tell, and the manner in which she tells them don't often resort to word bubbles or ellipses. Instead, it's the line and the thickness of the brushstroke, the hyperbolic nature of the character's bodies or the wry smiles they wear that tell you more about what's going on in the frame.
It's for reasons like these, along with a host of other more varied examples, that I wanted to invite cartoonist, illustrator and visual artist Michelle LeFade onto Mind to Make. I wanted to find out where Michelle got her style from, how it's evolved, what of herself she puts into that work, and where she's diverging from that path?
In the interview we discuss the answers to the aforementioned questions, as well as the importance of staying true to your own perspective and how retaining your own voice can be the inlet to your own creative discovery and peace of mind. We talk about what it means to become a “professional” artist, and the role that social media is now playing in that process. Related to that subject, we discuss how time influences branding and the importance of staying true to your artistic vision through the rebranding process. Michelle talks about playing with audience perception, scale, form, minimalism and balance in her work and how she manipulates her practice due to necessity and how she still makes it work for her.
Other topics include fetish, the feminine and the sexualization of women in art, using yourself as a subject, retaining old ideas as fuel for impeding creative blocks, and the single-minded focus that comes from working with ink and brush.
MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE
Aaliyah - O.I.A.M. (D. Matthew's other bootleg)
Missy Elliot & Janet Jackson - Burn It Up (BOT SHUDDIDOWN Edit)
Missy Elliot - Lose Control (Machinedrum Remix)
N.E.R.D & Rihanna - Lemon (BSNYEA Edit)